I’ve done it. In my quest to find the world’s thinnest possible case for the Google Pixel my journey is finally over. I know what you’re thinking, “Bro, there are plenty of thin cases on the market,” but let me stop you right there. Everyone claims their cases are “thin” — heck, even “ultra thin these days but it’s a term that’s mostly lost its meaning.
Think about all the countless hours of R&D smartphone manufacturers put into achieving the thinnest possible smartphone, only for users to end up strapping life preservers around them to prevent the unthinkable. I get it. Smartphones are expensive, but nobody really gets to the natural form factor of their phone and it’s almost kind of sad.
So what are your options when hunting around for a thin case? Well, there are generic TPU cases (which still add too much bulk and have giant lips around the display), hard shell snap-on cases (which typically leave the top and bottoms exposed), or skins (tough to install, harder to remove). None of those options really fulfill my personal needs.
I basically want a case that really adds the smallest possible amount of bulk while keeping the phone free from chips, scrapes, and scratches. Let me be clear: I’m not trying to protect my phone from severe drops, I just want to keep my phone looking like new after a year or two of normal wear and tear. That’s it. As for the display, well, I keep that protected by using glass screen protectors and they’ve served me well.
My quest to find the thinnest case imaginable has finally lead me to the Cali Case. These are thin sheets of plastic that completely cover the body of your phone — top, bottom, sides — albeit with cutouts for the buttons, ports, and speakers. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re snug, have a matte finish, and although they probably wont protect your phone from major drops, should keep your phone looking like new if you throw it inside a purse or slide it across pavement.
This case is actually a brand name of generic plastic cases I used to find on eBay but have since went the way of the dodo. I’ve shown you something very similar for the HTC One (M7) back in the day and while those only ran about $1 for a single case, Cali Case is much more expensive at $15 on Amazon. Yes, the price is a bit steep, but they’re still less than those Peel cases you’ll find for the iPhone (which are essentially the same thing). The biggest downside to the Cali Case is the limited color/finish options, with only smoke or flat black available. You can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth it.